I’ve always loved cruising on the Disney Cruise Line, and have found it to be especially convenient that so much is included in the fare. While these aren’t entirely all-inclusive vacations, cruises can be an easier way to budget for a vacation. However, it’s important that you know what is included in a Disney Cruise and what costs extra before planning your vacation. That way, you’ll have an idea of what to budget.
Note that many of these things are optional. So, you’ll only incur these expenses if this is something you choose to purchase/experience. It’s possible to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses beyond the cruise fare if that’s what you prefer
This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no additional cost to you. We received some complimentary/discounted Disney Cruises but paid our way many times. All opinions are my own.
Check prices for your Disney Cruise here.
Short on time? Here’s a high-level description of what’s included and what isn’t.
|Most non-alcoholic beverages
|Alcoholic beverages, premium coffee
|Standard meals, soft-serve
|Signature, adult-only restaurants
|Amenities (pools, water slides)
|Spa & salon treatments
|Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
|It’s a small world nursery
What’s included in a Disney Cruise? And What Costs Extra?
Food on a Disney Cruise
Most food is included on your Disney Cruise. Unlike some cruise lines, there isn’t a specific main dining room. Instead, Disney Cruise Line offers a rotational dining system where you’ll visit all three separate themed restaurants throughout your sailing. These meals are included in the price of your sailing.
In addition to these three main restaurants, there are lots of other places to get food during your trip. These include the buffet (Cabanas or Marceline Market), quick-service restaurants, pizza, soft-serve ice cream, and room service (most items). If your trip includes a day at Disney’s Castaway Cay, your lunch there is included.
Some specialty food, however, costs extra. The adult-only restaurants (Palo, Remy, and Encante) are specialty fine-dining restaurants at an additional cost. These are great meals, however, and are worth visiting for a special experience. Make your dining reservations in advance because they do get booked early.
The cruise ships also offer some additional specialty food that costs extra. Popcorn and packaged snacks cost extra, as do the specialty desserts and gelato at the various premium dessert shops on the ship (including Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats and Inside Out: Joyful Sweets).
Beverages on the Disney Cruise Line
Compared to other cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line includes many different beverages. You can get fountain soda, filtered water, standard tea, and regular coffee at no cost while onboard. If you bring your refillable water bottle on board, there are refill stations you can use to keep it filled.
There are, however, some beverages that cost extra. These include alcoholic beverages, bottled water, and specialty coffee. Even if you are a coffee drinker, you can get your fill with the coffee that is included in your cruise.
Unlike other cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line does not offer an all-inclusive beverage package. Instead, you can purchase a six-pack package of beer or hard seltzer or a package of several wines. These packages are easy to buy on your first day, with no need to pre-book. There are also bundles of bottled water that can be purchased through room service.
Alcohol can be brought on the ship with you, but only up to a certain limit. Currently, guests can bring up to 2 bottles of wine or champagne (up to 750 ml bottles) or 6 beers. These must be packed in your carry-on bag, not the checked bag, and a corkage fee applies if bringing it to a restaurant.
This page on the Disney Cruise Line website has all of the details.
Staterooms on the Disney Cruise Line
Within your stateroom, you’ll have some amenities that can make for a comfortable and safe stay. These include an in-room safe, a hairdryer, and split bathrooms with toiletries (one room with a sink and shower and the other with a sink and toilet).
There are no irons in the rooms, but an ironing/laundry room is available to guests. If you want to do your laundry, there is a fee for soap, the washers, and the dryers.
Entertainment on the Disney Cruise Line
As you’d expect from the Disney Cruise Line, entertainment is top-notch. Luckily, this entertainment is included in the cost of your cruise.
When you are on the ship, you’ll be able to look at the Disney Cruise Line app to see all of the entertainment options. This includes large-scale, Broadway-style shows in the main theater, as well as first-run movies in the movie theater. In addition, other movies are shown on funnel vision by the pool deck.
The ship also offers character interactions throughout your sailing. You can find the schedule for these in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.
Most of these are similar to character greetings at Disney Parks, where you’ll wait in line to meet the character. There are some, including the Royal Gathering, which is included but does require a reservation. On some ships, there are some additional character experiences, like Olaf’s Royal Picnic, that cost a significant amount extra.
Other entertainment on the Disney Cruise Line ships include musical performers, animation classes, magicians, game shows, trivia, and karaoke. Except for Bingo, all of these are included. While you can watch Bingo for free, you have to pay to play the game.
Port Excursions including Castaway Cay
Does your cruise include a day at Castaway Cay? If so, there are some fees for various port excursions and rentals on Castaway Cay. Items with fees include bike rentals, cabanas, the stingray excursion, waterbikes, snorkel trips, float and tube rentals, glass bottom boats, paddle boats, parasailing, kayaks, and more.
But, if you don’t want to spend any money, you can still enjoy a day at Castaway Cay. Beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas are offered at no cost. There’s also plenty of entertainment offered, in addition to the beach.
If you are visiting other ports, not owned by Disney, you’ll have to purchase your shore excursions. The ship is always open, however, so if you want to save money, you can always stay on board (or choose to just walk around the port).
Port Transportation on the Disney Cruise Line
You’ll need to travel to the port for the start of your cruise vacation. Whether you park at the port, take a Disney Cruise Line bus, or utilize private transportation, you’ll have to pay for that separately. Where DCL transportation is offered, it’s optional and is offered at an additional price.
Ship Activities on the Disney Cruise Line
There are so many different activities and amenities on the Disney Cruise Line. These include splash areas, water slides, water rides like the AquaDuck and AquaMouse, sports decks, and pools. These activities and amenities are included in your cruise fare and don’t cost extra.
There are some activities on the ship that do cost more, however. These include the spa, the salons, and the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. There is no casino on the Disney Cruise Line ships, but Bingo is available. You’ll need to purchase your Bingo cards, and pre-sales are usually open in advance of the games.
The kids’ clubs on the Disney Cruise Line are world-class offering themed areas for popular Disney-owned movies like Star Wars and Toy Story. Kids can go into these clubs throughout your cruise, as no additional cost.
If you are cruising with babies, there’s also the It’s a small world nursery. Reservations are required, and there is an additional fee for this service.
Gratuities on the Disney Cruise Line
Like most cruise lines (except for Virgin Voyages), you’ll pay gratuities separately on the Disney Cruise Line. It is possible to pre-pay them when you purchase your cruise, which is a nice option if you want to make your cruise as all-inclusive as possible.
WiFi on the Disney Cruise Line
App messaging while on the ship is free. You can use the app to communicate with others in your party whenever you’d like, without purchasing Wi-Fi. In addition, iMessage is also free.
If you’d like to have WiFi, that is a separate purchase and is optional. I usually forgo WiFi and instead use my cell phone provider’s international day pass when I’m in port.
Photos on the Disney Cruise Line
If you’d like to have photos taken while you are on board, there are plenty of photographers. You can purchase these photos separately, or there are packages available to get all of your photos at one cost.
MagicBands have come to the Disney Cruise Line (in the form of the DisneyBand). They aren’t required, and if you want one, they cost extra.